Clubs set to battle it out at the British Water Polo Champs
20 February 2014
City of Manchester will go for a historic double as they aim to become the first team to scoop the men’s and women’s titles at this weekend’s British Gas Water Polo Championships at Manchester Aquatics Centre.
Click here to follow live updates from the British Gas Water Polo Championships 2014.Manchester’s men’s team have dominated the domestic game this term, winning the British Water Polo League Super 5s title for the first time in their history before cruising through the British Gas Water Polo Championship Prelims with three wins from three.
They will face underdogs Invicta in their semi-final, the London-based team progressing through the Prelims after finishing second in the Championship 1 division of the British Water Polo League.
Super 5s runners-up Cheltenham were the only other team to progress from the Prelims with a perfect record and will take on 2012 champions Portobello – the only former winners in the men’s line-up – in the second semi-final on Saturday.
Manchester’s women’s team have an intimidating record at this level, having won gold at the past six British Gas Water Polo Championships.
But results from this season’s British Water Polo League suggest they face a tricky defence of their title with London Otter – runners-up to Manchester at the past two Championships – landing the Super 5s title for the first time last month.
Otter will face City of Coventry in the first semi-final while Manchester take on local rivals Liverpool Lizards in the second semi.
"There's a lot of rivalry between clubs but it's all good natured," - Liverpool and GB's Rachel DrabbleLiverpool have beaten both Otter and City of Manchester twice already this season and one of their star players, British international Rachel Drabble, insists the stage is set for an exciting weekend.
“Everyone is really excited about taking part in the British Gas Water Polo Championship finals this weekend.
“There’s a lot of rivalry between the clubs but it’s good natured and a great opportunity for the whole water polo community to come together and enjoy the sport.”
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